Washington, DC (BBN)- The high-speed internet is the key to economic growth and job creation in developing countries, a World Bank report said on Tuesday.

“Internet users in developing countries increased tenfold from 2000 to 2007, and there are now over four billion mobile phone subscribers in developing countries,” World Bank Group Director for Global Information and Communication Technologies Mohsen Khalil said in a press statement.

The World Bank report titled ‘Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact’ finds that access to affordable, high quality internet and mobile phone services enables development across all levels of the economy and society.

Mr. Khalil also said: “These technologies offer tremendous opportunities.  Governments can work with the private sector to accelerate rollout of broadband networks, and to extend access to low-income consumers.”

Broadband also provides the basis for local IT services industries, which create youth employment, increase productivity and exports, and promote social inclusion, the statement added.

“Governments should proactively encourage the development of local IT services industries through policies and incentives directed at entrepreneurs and the private sector, and through investments in skills and infrastructure,” World Bank Economist Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang, editor of the report, said.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-02July09-2:22 am (BST)